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lifecycle & love - arushi (aera) rege

i know i promised you that i’d

love you forever but baby i think i’m

stuck on the notion of how i’m going

to remember you longer than i’ve 

loved you. it goes like this, you

call me again, on the phone & i promise

that i haven’t been taking tylenol

again. i’m thinking of kissing

the boy on the phone i’m thinking

about being a boy i’m thinking that

maybe growth & change are just

words that mean “i don’t have you

anymore & i don’t think i’ll ever

know how to live my life without

you.” 


so maybe i’m the villain here, baby,

i know what this looks like. under 

fluorescent streetlights & bright 

red skies, i know you’re staring at

the girlboy i’m becoming & thinking about

how i couldn’t grow (change) enough for

this to be enough. i’m a broken record &

you’re a broken heart about promises

that i’m going to change & you’re 

going to be here forever. i know we’re

desperately holding on, in as many 

languages as we can. sonya, tujhavara

prem aahe maala. i know too many 

languages, baby, and i don’t know how

to love you in enough of them.


so just. entertain the idea that 

growth & change are lies we

tell ourselves to become better 

people because i said i’d end my

life cycle with you 

birth death birth death birth death

(somewhere in between it’s about how i’d never leave you. 

somewhere in between it becomes romance)

& tell me. am i going to be a chrysalis forever?

am i going to be your pretty little

butterfly? representative of all that you

wanted but couldn’t have? are you going

to keep me to be this little 

lifecycle replica of what love is

(birth. death. repeat.)

(verse. chorus. repeat.)

i’m sorry baby, we know how the world works.

we know how life works. we know what it

means to change & i know i’d grow & change

if it meant you’d stay & if it meant you’d

be mine or baby. 

(birth. death. repeat.)

the world is no longer mysterious

(we know how it works now)




arushi (aera) rege is a queer, chronically in pain, Indian-American poet who simultaneously attends junior year in high school. They tweet occasionally @academic_core and face the perils of instagram @aeranem_26. Their works have been published in Gastropoda Lit, Full House Literary Magazine, fifth wheel press, and more. Their debut chapbook, BROWN GIRL EPIPHANY, is forthcoming with fifth wheel press. You can find their website at arushiaerarege.carrd.co.

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